My name is Ella and I am 9 years old. I live in Pershore, Worcestershire. Pershore is famous for its fruit, especially plums, as some new varieties were discovered growing in this area. Every year, the town has a Plum Festival with lots of different events.
At school, we were given a leaflet about becoming the Plum Princess. There was an application to fill in and I was very excited when I got a phone call to say that I had been shortlisted with 8 other girls. A few days later, the finals were held at a garden party. I had to dress up for this so my mum bought me a beautiful purple dress and some new shoes. I felt like a princess wearing them! There were some ladies doing face paints at the garden party and I asked them to paint some purple flowers on the side of my head as I donít like wearing a wig.
We all had to be interviewed about what we like doing, what we knew about the plum festival and why we wanted to be the plum princess. I was a little bit nervous but more excited. When I was asked why I wanted to be the princess, I said that I wanted to show other people with alopecia that it shouldnít stop you doing whatever you like. You can still be kind and generous and beautiful even with no hair. Everyone in the marquee gave me a huge clap when I said that.
The judges went out to decide who would be the princess and when they came back, they had chosen my friend Annelise to be the Princess and me and my other friend Lily to be her attendants. We were all given a sash and a lovely bunch of flowers and then went off to have lots of photos.
That was two weeks ago. The festival lasts for all of August so there are lots of events I have to go to! I helped to launch the festival and have also been to a special race night. That was lots of fun as we got to watch the horse races and met the jockey who won the Grand National. I was also on television and every week my picture is in the paper as the journalists come to all of the events. On Bank Holiday Monday, there is a Plum Fayre and I get to ride in a special open-top car around the town. I am looking forward to that! There is also a Bike Meet that I will go to. There will be thousands of bikes and I might have a ride on a special motorbike, or at least have my picture taken sitting on one!
My friends and I are having lots of fun and the other people who are involved are really nice (there is a man who dresses up as a giant plum and a lady who dresses up as Queen Victoria Plum). I have also met lots of other kind people.
If you ever get the chance to do something like this, do it! I am so glad that I didnít let Alopecia stop me from applying as I would have missed out on a really fun experience.
It is sometimes hard when you look different but most of the time I forget I have no hair and my friends and family do too because I am the same inside.
Thank you Ella for sharing your story. We are so pleased and proud to know you!